May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Tim York » Sun May 08, 2011 4:48 pm

Salil wrote:
Tim York wrote:Most people know that Pinot Noir enters into Champagne (there are even some 100% Blanc de Noirs cuvées). However, it is less well known that the region also produces still reds from PN under the appellation Coteaux Champenois. The best of these can be wonderfully elegant in a lighter style than Burgundy, though in recent years some have been putting on more weight. Lack of awareness of these wines is a little strange given that they have been prized by European gourmets, including French kings, since the 17th century; Bouzy rouge was particularly famous but nowadays others including from Aÿ and Ambonnay are at least their equal. The great Robert Parker is in a state of denial and says in one of his books that the Champagne region only produces sparkling wine!!!?? :evil:

Coteaux Champenois - Ambonnay Rouge - Cuvée des Grands Côtés 1996 – Grand Cru - Egly-Ouriet – Alc. 12%, a still wine made from Pinot Noir old vines and bottled unfiltered. This was a wonderfully elegant and harmonious expression of Pinot Noir and the Champagne terroir. It showed remarkable purity yet complexity of pinot fruit with, in particular, delicious notes of sour cherry, medium/light body, lively acidity, linear shape with great length, gentle structural support for the finish. At the same level as the 1995, with slightly more rigour and class but less sexy charm; 17.5/20++.

Lack of awareness isn't the issue - I have had a couple of great bottles of Coteaux Champenois, but they're priced alongside a lot of higher end 1er Cru Burgs. If I can buy Jadot Estournelle St. Jacques or Mugnier Clos de la Marechale for less than the Coteaux Champenois available in these markets, then it's a no brainer.


Salil, IMO good Coteaux Champenois and 1er cru Burg are sufficiently different in style and gastronomic use for there to be room for both at similar price points.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon May 09, 2011 9:12 am

Tim York wrote:Salil, IMO good Coteaux Champenois and 1er cru Burg are sufficiently different in style and gastronomic use for there to be room for both at similar price points.


Just to do a comparison, the 2005 Egly-Ouriet Ambonnay Rouge runs about $90 at the cheapest US source on Wine Searcher. That's about the same price as 2008 Jadot Gevrey Chambertin Clos St. Jacques. Do you really believe that we're talking similar quality?
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Tim York » Mon May 09, 2011 10:24 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Tim York wrote:Salil, IMO good Coteaux Champenois and 1er cru Burg are sufficiently different in style and gastronomic use for there to be room for both at similar price points.


Just to do a comparison, the 2005 Egly-Ouriet Ambonnay Rouge runs about $90 at the cheapest US source on Wine Searcher. That's about the same price as 2008 Jadot Gevrey Chambertin Clos St. Jacques. Do you really believe that we're talking similar quality?


Short answer is yes, but in a lighter style, which may disqualify it for some. Nevertheless $90 is a bit steep; €36 is lowest Wine Searcher quote for Belgium. When one reflects on the price for bubbly, it's hardly an economic proposition to divert 100% Grand Cru grapes into a still red for less.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Redwinger » Mon May 09, 2011 4:15 pm

2008 Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Color deep red. This was slow to open and even after 90 minutes not a lot fruit emerged, but this puppy was packed with spices and tea notes. Surprisingly not of lot of that earthy forestry profile that I usually associate with this AVA. Medium with plenty of structure and I'm wagering this has plenty of upside. Lengthy finish that lingers without becoming tiring. Good now, but should improve if one were to get lost in the cellar for a couple of years. Carries the 14.1% abv nicely without any noticeable heat. The wine is actually better than this note may imply. Good QPR at $23 and I'll certainly buy a few more.

Day 2: Still going strong and finally some bright strawberry flavors have joined the chorus.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue May 10, 2011 7:42 am

You guys knew that I'd have to get in some Israeli Pinot Noir wines. Following are my tasting notes for those wines currently on the market, all of which were tasted or re-tasted in the last six months.

For those not familiar with my notation system, the first word in each review is the name of the winery. That is followed by the series in which the wine is found (if that exists) and then the name of the variety and the vintage date. Those wines followed by the letter 'K" are kosher.

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Aneva, Pinot Noir, 2006: Made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes, the wine rather generously oaked after 22 months in barriques and therefore a bit more full-bodied and oaky than one might hope for from this variety. Although lacking varietal typicity, an interesting wine, with a nose of black fruits and earthy minerals, opening in the glass to reveal wild berry and blackcurrant fruits, those complemented by notes of minted chocolate and, on the moderately long finish, a lead-pencil hint. Drink now. Score 87.

Avidan, Pinot Noir, 2008: Tight and concentrated, darker, more full-bodied and more tannic than one expects from a Pinot Noir. On the nose and palate dried berries and currants, mint and sage and a bit heavy on its herbal presence. Not at all a typical Pinot but will surely have its fans. Drink now–2014. Score 88.

Bar Giora, Pinot Noir, 2008: Blended with 5% of Petit Verdot, oak aged in French barriques for 18 months the wine shows medium- to full-bodied, generously tannic and reflecting a rather heavy hand with the oak On the nose and palate dried berries along with notes of mint, sage and bay leaf. A savory if not complex wine and not adequately reflecting the traits of Pinot Noir. Drink now. Score 84.

Barkan, Classic, Pinot Noir, Negev, 2010: A pleasant enough little wine but you might never guess that it was made from Pinot Noir grapes. Cherry red, medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a basic berry-black cherry personality. An entry-level choice. Drink now. Score 84. K

Ella Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, 2009: Deeply aromatic, deep royal purple in color, full-bodied for a Pinot but not overly tannic and with a still-gentle wood influence. Ripe and spicy and, on the nose and palate, plums, black cherries, cola and mineral notes. On the long fresh finish a note of cedarwood rising. Drink now–2016. Score 90. K

Galil Mountain, Pinot Noir, 2009: Living up nicely to barrel-tasting promise. Developing in French barriques, dark ruby in color, medium-bodied, gently tannic, showing a lovely fruit-rich nose and equally tempting flavors. On the nose and palate red and black berries, black cherries and cassis, those reflecting a gentle hand with spicy wood. From mid-palate on hints of stony minerals and cedar wood. Pinot Noir true to its variety and happily reflecting its Galilean roots. A fine effort for the vintage. Drink now–2016. Score 90. K

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Pinot Noir, Marom Galil Vineyard, 2008: Deeply aromatic, a lighter-than-usual-style Pinot from Yarden, showing red berries, cherries, sage and minerals. Medium-bodied, with light tannins that linger nicely through and lead to a long, persistent finish. Drink now-2016. Tentative Score 89–91. K

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Pinot Noir, Ein Zivan Vineyard, 2008: Full-bodied, showing ripe black cherries, plums and spices, and picking up a mineral edge on a long finish. Ripe, pure and fleshy. Drink now–2016. Score 91. K
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Pinot Noir, 2008: Round and well balanced, dark cherry-red towards garnet in color and medium- to full-bodied. On the opening nose spices and chocolate and on the palate blackberries, black cherries and roasted herbs. Fresh, aromatic and concentrated with a tantalizing hint of licorice on the long finish. Drink now-2017, perhaps longer. Score 92. K

Golan Heights Winery, Gamla, Pinot Noir, 2008: Dark ruby in color, medium-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely. On the nose and palate red currants and black and red cherries, those complemented nicely by notes of spices and minerals. Complex enough to grab our attention and simultaneously easy to drink. Drink now–2013. Score 88. K

Gvaot, Gofna Reserve, Pinot Noir, 2009: Made from still young vines and showing light garnet, a rich, medium-bodied and elegant wine. Oak aged for 12 months, opens with a cherry-berry nose, goes on to show soft, gently caressing tannins and abundant wild berry, plum and cherry fruits, those on a just spicy enough background to tantalize. Well focused and long with fruits and tannins rising nicely on the finish. Drink now-2016. Score 91. K

Katlav, Pinot Noir, 2007: Oak-aged for 24 months, medium-dark ruby in color, a soft, round and easygoing Pinot opening to show black cherry, red berry and spicy aromas and flavors. Light tannins and a gentle note of the wood make this an easy-to-drink and just-complex-enough Pinot. Drink up. Score 86. K

Livni, Pinot Noir, 2009: Made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes grown at an altitude of 875 meters and aged for 12 months in French and American barriques, a full-bodied, impenetrably dark garnet wine with almost chewy tannins. Opens with a black fruit nose, goes on to show crushed wild berries, ripe cherries and raspberry fruits, those with overlays of licorice and earthy minerals. Rich, deep and layered, perhaps not fully typical of the variety but certainly very tempting Pinot Noir. Approachable and enjoyable now but best from 2013-2017. Score 90. K

Pelter, T-Selection, Pinot Noir, T- 2009: Dark cherry red toward garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins. Soft and round, with wild berry and blueberry fruits coming together nicely with hints of toasty oak. Supple, well balanced and concentrated with a long and generous finish, that with an appealing note of bitter almonds. Drink now-2016. Score 92.

Tanya, Reserve, Pinot Noir, 2007: Dark ruby in color, full-bodied and with near-chewy tannins waiting to settle down. Opens to reveal raspberry and cassis fruits on a generously herbal background. Drink now. Score 87. K

Tishbi, Reserve, Pinot Noir, 2007: Dark ruby in color, full-bodied and with near-chewy tannins waiting to settle down. Opens to reveal raspberry and cassis fruits on a generously herbal background. Drink now. Score 87. K

Tzuba, Tel Tzuba, Pinot Noir, 2008: Deep garnet, with a wood-rich nose, medium- to full-bodied, with generous tannins and resembling Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot more than Pinot Noir. On the nose and palate raspberries, ripe red plums and cassis. Drink now. Score 87. K

Vitkin, Pinot Noir, 2009: Dark cherry red toward garnet, medium-bodied, with silky tannins that grip gently and a hint of polished mahogany wood on the nose. Ripe and rich, opening with blackberries and spices those going on to notes that at one moment call to mind plum pudding and another black tea. On the long finish, following the general wont of the winemaker, a tempting hint of bitterness. Highly stylized, a distinctly Mediterranean Pinot Noir. Best from mid-2012- 2016. Score 90.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Tim York » Tue May 10, 2011 1:31 pm

Thanks for the report, Rogov. I'm surprised that some of these PN cuvées are performing so honourably in a warm country like Israel. Are there special local climatic factors in play here, e.g. altitude and cool nights, which help to explain this?
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue May 10, 2011 2:58 pm

Tim, Hi....

Indeed, the better Pinot Noir grapes in Israel are set in vineyards on the Golan Heights, the Upper Galilee and the Judean Hills, each of those with high altitude settings and dramatic night-day temperature changes.

The only potentially "difficult" part of this is that some of the vineyards in the Judean Hills are on the Palestinian side of the green line. More than that, many of the Pinot Noir vineyards are located on slopes, getting similar sunshine and shade during the day as is found in many Burgundy vineyards. Some excellent vineyards in the occupied territories, but if I were to be honest on this Independence Day, I would have to say that it is sad that those vineyards are not under the ownership and care of Palestinians.

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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Tim York » Tue May 10, 2011 3:57 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote: Some excellent vineyards in the occupied territories, but if I were to be honest on this Independence Day, I would have to say that it is sad that those vineyards are not under the ownership and care of Palestinians.

Best
Rogov


Rogov, wouldn't their religion condemn them to using these PNs as table grapes :shock: ?
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Joe Moryl » Wed May 11, 2011 12:12 am

2001 Pinot Noir, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Finger Lakes (NY):
My hope for Finger Lakes Pinot Noir waxes and wanes, but this bottle has restored some optimism. The 1989 Dr. Frank PN was perhaps the best PN from that region that I have ever tasted - it also demonstrated that wines from the area could improve with age. Here is another such wine - ten years on and it is doing fine, showing some tertiary aspects, but still young enough to wonder what it would be like with 5 or 10 more years. Color is an appropriately not too saturated carmine with just a hint of brick. Nose, shy at first, picks up after some time in the glass. On the palate, we have some nice red cherry/cranberry fruit with touches of earth, tar and sarsaparilla. Somewhat spicy with good acidity and length, no green notes or excessive signs of oak. Only 12% abv. I hope some later vintages can live up to the quality of this bottle.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed May 11, 2011 12:49 am

Sounds wonderful Joe. Pity I have no access to Finger Lakes here in AB.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Tim York » Wed May 11, 2011 11:04 am

Pinot Noir is grown in the valleys of La Loire and its tributaries, giving good results particularly in the same upper reaches where Sauvignon blanc is the predominant white grape. For about a generation Sancerre rouge has been a popular quaff served chilled (often excessively so for expressiveness) in Paris brasseries but now certain growers are becoming more serious with it. Alphonse Mellot's efforts have been particularly praised in some quarters but the prices (c.€50) and reports of heavy oaking put me off. Some marvellous PN derived pinks are also made here and I recall a wonderful 1996 from Cotat which tatsed like fine Champagne without bubbles.

Two of the PNs which I have looked at last week come from Menetou-Salon, which is something of a Sancerre satellite slightly to the west, and the third from the Cher valley much further to the west in Touraine.

Menetou-Salon Morogues 2008 - Domaine Pellé - Alc.12.5% - (c.€14) was medium light in both colour and body and showing attractive bright fruit with a cherry tinge, quite a lot of flinty minerals and lively acidity. It was a very nice drink now but I don't see it developing a lot of complexity with greater age; 15.5/20.

The following two were sipped and spat at a weekend tasting.

Touraine Pinot Noir 2010 - Domaine des Chézelles, Noyers-sur-Cher - (€6) was light in both colour and body and was refreshingly pleasant in its sour cherry laced fruit but rather inconsequential; 14/20.

Menetou-Salon 2010 - Domaine de Coquin - (€11) had much more going for it. Somewhat weightier in colour and body, its aromas were still cherry laced but sweeter and more complex and the palate was rounder and darker in tone with an unusually silky texture for such an young wine. I guess that in time this wine could prove superior to the 2008 from Pellé; 15.5/20 with + potential.
(Also an excellent SB derived Menetou-Salon 2010 white at this table.)
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Jenise » Wed May 11, 2011 8:11 pm

Joe Moryl wrote:2001 Pinot Noir, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Finger Lakes (NY):
Only 12% abv. I hope some later vintages can live up to the quality of this bottle.


Impressive, both for it's longevity and low alcohol. Hurray for that.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Joe Moryl » Thu May 12, 2011 12:12 am

Jenise wrote:
Joe Moryl wrote:2001 Pinot Noir, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Finger Lakes (NY):
Only 12% abv. I hope some later vintages can live up to the quality of this bottle.


Impressive, both for it's longevity and low alcohol. Hurray for that.


In my experience, they do seem to last. And 2001 was a pretty good growing year. I think Dr. Frank has access to some older vines than most FL PN producers, and they have been exploring the clonal parameter space for some time. The 12% abv might just be the nominal figure that allows for +/- 1.5 %? I just looked at a bottle of the 2007, a really warm growing season, and it too is labeled 12%, so who knows. I also suspect they are pretty conservative with their wine making (e.g. wines are certainly fined and filtered), so one wonders what they could do if they let their hair down a bit.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Jenise » Thu May 12, 2011 11:49 am

MichaelB wrote:Not much on the nose but this is a wine that permits a view of the stem while sipping—not opaque. A little micro-frizzante on opening, but that passed. I expected cherry, but this was wild cherry with some cranberry and something I can only describe as watermelon. Fresh rain?

Acidic, a great match with lamb chops, roasted corn (maize) and asparagus. We've had bad experiences with this exquisite vegetable and red pinot (pass the Gewuerztraminer, dude), but this wine was perfect. Alcohol was 13.5 but not noticeable. It was $30 Garagiste a few years back and I'd buy it again.


I bought a few of those, too, though I was thinking it was more like $20. Drank the last one a few months ago and struggled to write a description of it (so didn't at the time) but your descriptor 'watermelon' nails it. However, we didn't enjoy it as much as you did. I liked it better younger and fresher, but at this stage found it merely unremarkable for a $20 Garagiste purchase, and a definite no-go at $30.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Jenise » Thu May 12, 2011 12:11 pm

A couple $10 cheapies we sampled from Grocery Outlet last weekend:

2008 Rainbow Creek, Marlborough, NZ--raspberry fruit here opens with a strong bitter leafy note that intensifies through to the finish. There weren't any medicinal flavors, but the experience of tasting it was like some cough syrups where the sweetness is a thin, false layer over the deeper bad flavor no person would voluntarily drink. Whatever, we found it too miserable to drink and replaced the cork, er, screwcap!, and sampled it again yesterday (three days later). No change.

2008 Toasted Head Russian River, CA--Perhaps the death of the winery's owner (brother of actor Robin Williams, I think) is why these wines have shown up at a surplus/close-out retailer like Grocery Outlet, though $10 isn't a significant discount from the $16ish I think these wines commanded at normal retail. Expected a heavily toasted oak presence similar to this brand's chardonnay, which I don't like, but was pleasantly surprised by a medium bodied, balanced pinot where nothing's especially great but neither is it candied, flabby or lacking varietal character as is typically the case in this price range. Overall, a good value.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby JC (NC) » Thu May 12, 2011 7:30 pm

I'm enjoying reading the tasting notes on this month's focus. I'm surprised by the number of New Zealand Pinot Noirs. I have one too to drink and report next week or the week after that.

2007 ARCHERY SUMMIT RENEGADE RIDGE ESTATE, DUNDEE HILLS, OREGON

13.9% alcohol according to the label.
This was a gift to me from a man who used to work for Archery Summit and had seen my comments that my experience with the winery was that they buried gorgeous fruit with too much oak. He felt the winemaker had dialed back on oak treatment in more recent vintages and wanted me to give one of the wines another try.

Mostly Dijon clones 114 and 667, indigenous yeasts. Fermented in both wooden and stainless steel open-top tanks in a gravity-flow winery. Deep purple color, nearly opaque. First sniff of the wine seems to impart oak spice along with purple or black fruits. Plum and dark berries on the mildly tart side of the spectrum on the palate. The fruit is not "buried" in this wine but does have an oak "surround." Some elegance shines through. I admit I liked this, liked it especially on the fourth evening when I only had about 2 oz. left in the bottle. Shucks! I suggest a long decant or perhaps holding until 2013.
It definitely has some positive points but comes at a high price point. This vintage is currently available from the winery for $85 or $68 if you have joined the A-list (mailing list or online purchasing list.) The 2008 vintage of this wine sold out (92 points from WA).
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu May 12, 2011 8:47 pm

2008 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Aubaine Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Valley)
Wow is that grapey. There's a little heat on the front end, and it also catches at the back. In the middle the fruit is very plush and inviting. While overall I have largely moved away from bigger style Pinots, this is not such a bad thing to drink after a tough Thursday at the office.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Tim York » Sun May 15, 2011 7:43 am

Vin d'Alsace Pinot Noir Westhoffen 2008 - Domaine Loew - Alc.12% - (€13).

A recurrent problem at home in pairing wine with food is that, when I ask the chef what we are having in order to prepare the wine, she tells me in vague terms and then sometimes adds ingredients which invalidate my choice. I chose this because PN goes well with salmon but she added a quite strong Thai spice to some accompanying scampi which swamped the wine (in the event an Alsace Gewurz and Pinot gris would have been much better).

So my impressions here are based on the first sip before eating. Colour was quite light but less so than most Alsace PN of a few years ago, which were no more than deep pink. The nose was very attractive with round and velvety ripe fruit with a lot of "griotte" cherry but, fortunately?, none of the liquorice which the back label claims. The palate were medium/light and linear with some depth of fruit, smooth acidity and a velvety texture playing variations on the aromas from the nose until these were effaced by the Thai spice. This was more seductive but less mineral and invigorating than the Menetou-Salon PNs on which wrote TNs earlier; 15.5/20++.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Jenise » Tue May 17, 2011 5:59 pm

Redwinger wrote:2008 Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Color deep red. This was slow to open and even after 90 minutes not a lot fruit emerged, but this puppy was packed with spices and tea notes. Surprisingly not of lot of that earthy forestry profile that I usually associate with this AVA.


Your last sentence there is what I was thinking when I read about spices and tea notes. That's more typically Californian to my palate than Oregonian. Interesting difference. Never heard of this producer before, btw.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Jenise » Tue May 17, 2011 6:03 pm

2006 Amisfield PN, Central Otago, NZ

Color shows some maturity with a brick hue and clearing rim. Nose of raspberries and we sidewalks after a good rain. Raspberry palate too with cola and a sharp celery note near the finish. Very enjoyable, and though we detected enough tannins to believe this wine will hold here for some time, this one does seem to be at peak.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Redwinger » Wed May 18, 2011 11:48 am

Jenise wrote:
Redwinger wrote:2008 Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Color deep red. This was slow to open and even after 90 minutes not a lot fruit emerged, but this puppy was packed with spices and tea notes. Surprisingly not of lot of that earthy forestry profile that I usually associate with this AVA.


Your last sentence there is what I was thinking when I read about spices and tea notes. That's more typically Californian to my palate than Oregonian. Interesting difference. Never heard of this producer before, btw.


Jenise-
This is my first experience with Grochau (GC Cellars) wines. I don't think it is high production, but one of our regional distributors is stocking it. Now that you mention it, the wine did come across as somewhat of a hybrid between California and Oregon. Is that a style thing, vintage, or a matter of the grapes available...your guess is as good as mine.
An interesting, if not compelling wine at this stage, but it seems to have an upside...not that I know much about that either.
BTW, for all the cool kids out there, Grochau is pronounced Grow Shaw
http://gcwines.com/
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby JC (NC) » Wed May 18, 2011 2:43 pm

2008 Ken Wright Cellars Carter Vineyard--west-facing vineyard in the Eola Hills, Oregon. Nekia-type soil formed from weathered basic rock. 13.2% alcohol. Leggy on the glass. Exhibits dark fruits. Mellow, smooth, dark-fruited beauty. I had liked this at a wine dinner in Charlotte in April 2010 where I had the honor of sitting across the table from Ken Wright for the first two courses as we tasted four of his Pinot Noirs from this vintage (plus a few of his wines from other varieties.) This and the Freedom Hill Pinot Noir were my favorites but I was unable to find the Freedom Hill for purchase. I would buy more Ken Wright Pinots if they were less pricy.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby Bill Hooper » Wed May 18, 2011 5:55 pm

2009 Weingut Bernhart Spätburgunder Qualitätswein Trocken –Pfalz, Germany 13,0% alc.

Along with Friedrich Becker and Weingut Jülg, Bernhart makes up the trifecta of excellent wineries that grace Schweigen on the Alsace/Pfalz border and all three have vineyards in both countries (all legally delimited as Anbaugebiet Pfalz. As with the other two, The Pinot family leads the way here with Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) taking the lead.

The basic Spätburgunder 2009 is the biggest surprise and most overachieving pinot that I think I’ve ever tasted -not because I doubted Bernhart, but because I doubted quality of the price-tag: 6,80€. It is as close to Francophiliac Pinot Noir as anything I’ve tasted for the price from anywhere. Honest and understated red currant and raspberry fruit with plenty of leafy, tertiary flavors and rough-hewn tannins. It is the correct color and weight and has beautiful structure and cherry blossom and rosewater aromas.

Cheers,
Bill
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

Postby ChaimShraga » Wed May 18, 2011 6:06 pm

Ah, you know, I remember the first time I tasted a German Pinot Noir. It had all the logic of late-period Minutemen and the importer who poured it for me said there are three controversial things in life: coriander, Manhattan and German Pinot.
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